Meet the Team: Emily Swatton, Apprentice Co-ordinator
What is your role at OAS?
I’m the Apprentice Co-ordinator, which means I’m involved in lots of different aspects of the apprenticeship journey. I look after the apprentices here at OAS in terms of their welfare and helping with any day-to-day challenges. I’m also in regular contact with all of our employer partners, arranging the reviews with their apprentices, which are a vital part of building professional behaviours and key skills for the workplace.
Why is the new OAS Training Centre so important for the Oxfordshire area?
We’re here to provide Oxfordshire and the Thames Valley with the next generation of engineering technicians, so we’re important because we’re supporting to both businesses and people in the communities in the local area. Our aim is to close the skills gap in the engineering sector and to produce apprentices of the highest professional and technical standard. I think it’s also important that that we provide an alternative pathway to excellence, compared to the more traditional academic routes like university.
What do you think of the new Training Centre?
Our training centre is a fantastic facility – the flexibility and space we offer makes OAS an outstanding place to learn. Working closely with our employer partners has been a huge benefit to the centre because they have contributed ideas and offered their skills to run specialist workshops, making the centre even better. We’re very lucky to have a brand new facility to train our apprentices in, and it continues to evolve with their input.
What do you enjoy most about working at OAS?
Most of all, I enjoy making a positive impact on other people’s days. My duties are very varied so I feel that I achieve a lot in a day, which I find personally rewarding. And being part of the larger OAS team and seeing the apprentices pass their assessments feels like an immense collective achievement. I’m really proud of what we do at OAS.
In your opinion, what are the benefits of choosing an apprenticeship?
For me, apprenticeships give people the opportunity to implement their new skills almost from day one, and build their professional and interpersonal skills at the same time. Many of us learn best when we can see systems working and handle the components ourselves, as you do in an apprenticeship, so they also offer a positive alternative to other less practical training routes.
What can OAS offer local businesses in the area?
Choosing to study at OAS is choosing to push yourself to be the best you can be. We hold our apprentices to high standards – we know they are bright and capable individuals, and we support everyone to fulfil their potential as a highly-skilled technician.